Google on Wednesday updated its native Google Earth for Android app with a big new feature and two improvements. You can download the new version now directly from Google Play.
Can I access Street View or Flight Simulator on Google Earth for mobile?
At this time there is no way to access Street View from Google Earth for mobile. On Android, if you’d like to view Street View imagery on a phone or tablet, Street View is available through Google Maps for mobile. Currently there is no way to view Street View imagery on iOS.
Looks like Google badly needs to update the Google Earth FAQ. The limitation never did make sense to us, as Google Earth has always been more powerful than Google Maps, but prioritization of features is naturally different on mobile than on desktop.
Next up are the improvements: updated directions and search as well as a tweaked interface. The former means you can now visualize all four types of directions (walking, biking, driving, and transit) in 3D as well as browse through search results more quickly. The latter means the app now also lets you check out different layers from the new left-hand panel.
The full Google Earth 7.1.1 for Android changelog is as follows:
Google Earth for iOS is at version 7.0.3; we’ll let you know if and when it gets these new features too.
Top Image Credit: gilderm
It looks like Twitter #Music has a hidden “Instant” feature that returns a list of similar artists based on an artist of your choosing, thus giving you a decent playlist for immediate playback. Before Twitter #Music was officially announced, multiple features were leaked by poking around in the site’s code, and even after the service has launched, it looks like that’s happening all over again.
Music blogger Tyler Hayes discovered the feature while digging around music.twitter.com: if you append the word “instant” to an artist’s URL, you’ll be given a playlist of similar artists. At least for now, this feature still appears to be in testing: it doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere nor is it available in the service’s user interface.
Nevertheless, you can try it out now for yourself. For example, if I want to see the artists that Eminem follows, all I have to do is go to music.twitter.com/Eminem (the number is zero, by the way). If, however, I want to get a list of similar artists related to Eminem, I can navigate to music.twitter.com/eminem/instant:
The result is 48 other artists, plus Eminem himself. Notice that the purpose of this feature is described by Twitter in the top-left and top-right corners: “Artists similar to Marshall Mathers” and “Play Full Tracks.”
The algorithm behind this clearly still needs some work: the second person listed in this example is Justin Timberlake, while Dr. Dre is second from the bottom. Furthermore, it seems to work with most artists, listing more results for some than others, but a few don’t list anything when queried.
Presumably, when it is ready Twitter will add a button “Similar to” button on artist pages. That being said, generating a playlist of suggestions is nothing new for a music service, so the company adding its own version isn’t too much of a surprise.
Nevertheless, we have contacted Twitter to learn more. We will update this article if we hear back.
See also – Twitter unveils its new #Music app for the Web and iOS, integrates with Rdio, Spotify and iTunes and It doesn’t matter that much if you like Twitter Music – this is a big play for music industry dollars
Top Image Credit: khrawlings / Flickr
See the original post here: Twitter #Music has a hidden Instant playlist feature that makes suggestions based on an artist you choose
Google’s search results in Europe could soon look a bit different if a number of new reports about the company’s settlement with the European Union’s competition commission are correct. After a three-year investigation into its potentially anti-competitive practices, Google submitted its proposal for an agreement with the EU last week, but the details remained under wraps. According to reports from the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, however, Google’s proposal includes a number of changes to how it will do business (at least in the EU).
According to these reports, Google has offered to “make users clearly aware” when it is linking to its own specialized services and vertical search engines. Every time Google promotes one of its own links, it will also show “at least three links to rival, non-Google sites that have information relevant to a user’s query,” the Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati reports. So whenever a search on Google would naturally highlight a result from Google+ Local, Google would also add links to sites like Yelp, UrbanSpoon, TripAdvisor or other relevant sites.
This part of the agreement would at least cover Google’s search services for restaurants, finance and shopping. Results from Google News, the Financial Times says, would “merely need to be labelled and separated.”
Under this proposed settlement, Google will also offer sites the ability to easily remove 10 percent of their content from its vertical search engines (though it’s not clear how this would actually work) and make it easier for advertisers to move their campaigns to other search engines (similar to what Google is doing in the U.S. after its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year). Google’s search algorithm itself would remain untouched in this agreement.
If the EU agrees to these terms, Google will avoid the large financial penalties that the EU could have levied against the search company. The proposal, if the reports are correct, would be binding for five years, and a neutral third party would ensure that Google doesn’t stray from the agreement.
Google competitors, whose official complaint started this investigation, were probably hoping for larger changes, and fines will probably not be in favor of these relatively small changes Google is offering to make. Last week, FairSearch.org already filed another complaint against Google in the EU. This time, the organization, which is backed by Microsoft, Expedia, Oracle, TripAdvisor and 13 other search and technology companies, argues that Google is abusing its power “to dominate the mobile marketplace and cement its control over consumer Internet data for online advertising as usage shifts to mobile.”
Even if Google does settle this latest investigation with the EU then, chances are we haven’t heard the last of this.
The Bitcoin correction we wrote about yesterday was not caused by a DDOS attack on one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges, Mt.Gox, but rather by a massive spike in interest in the crypto currency, according to Mt.Gox.
During trading yesterday the value of Bitcoin plummet by 60%, dropping from a high of $265 to around $150 (at the time of writing it has climbed back up slightly, to around $180). As the value of Bitcoin dropped, San Francisco-based exchange called TradeHill claimed the fall was a result of distributed denial of service attacks on Mt. Gox and Bitstamp.
But Mt.Gox has now posted a notice on its Facebook page explaining the dramatic dive as the result of too much interest in Bitcoin. As its infrastructure slowed down under the volume of new users crowding in, it said the resulting lag then caused traders to panic and sell off currency — triggering the drop.
Earlier this month the Tokyo-based exchange was hit by a DDOS attack — which it said had caused its “worst trading lag ever“. But this time the lag was caused by the Bitcoin goldrush, and existing investors’ fearing a Bitcoin bubble.
Mt.Gox said 60,000 new accounts were opened in the first few days of April alone, vs 75,000 for the whole month of March, and added that it is seeing an average of 20,000 new accounts opened per day, while trading volume has apparently tripled in the past day.
As a result of the increased strain on its infrastructure, Mt.Gox said it may have to temporarily close the exchange for two hours in order to add more servers. ”We have been busy working on improving things since last week and our team has been working around the clock to improve Mt.Gox to catch up with the demand,” it added. “We will continue to release several updates today and in the coming few days to improve our system overall performance.”
As well as needing to bolster its infrastructure to cope with the influx of new users, having previously been a DDOS target — and with the value of Bitcoin still so high and the market so volatile – Mt.Gox can expect to be a target for hackers for the foreseeable future, which is another reason it needs to beef up its infrastructure.
Mt.Gox’s update follows below in full:
Hi everyone, just a quick update on the situation and what happened last night.
First of all we would like to reassure you but no we were not last night victim of a DDoS but instead victim of our own success!
Indeed the rather astonishing amount of new account opened in the last few days added to the existing one plus the number of trade made a huge impact on the overall system that started to lag. As expected in such situation people started to panic, started to sell Bitcoin in mass (Panic Sale) resulting in an increase of trade that ultimately froze the trade engine!
To give you an idea of how impressive things were here are some numbers that we would love to share with you guys:
- The number of trades executed triple in the last 24hrs.
- The number of new account opened went from 60k for March alone to 75k new account created for the first few days of April! We now have roughly 20,000 new accounts created each day.
Due to these facts we have been busy working on improving things since last week and our team has been working around the clock to improve Mt.Gox to catch up with the demand. We will continue to release several updates today and in the coming few days to improve our system overall performance.
Also please note that we may have to close the exchange for two hours in the next 12 to 24hrs to add several new servers to our system.
Thank you for your understanding and continuous support!
Update: A notice on Mt.Gox’s Facebook page, posted several hours after the prior update, confirms the planned network downtime maintenance has been completed. However it also says the exchange is now under DDOS attack.
Last May, Incident Tech launched the gTar, a guitar with real strings that connected to a smartphone for some amazing sound processing. In the last few months, the founder, Idan Beck and his team have been busy preparing the 800 guitars he pre-sold on Kickstarter for shipment. Theirs is a story of creativity, cool, and the next generation in music technology. I spoke with Idan briefly about his Disrupt experience and how it felt to go from zero to shipping in less than a year.
TC: So how have things been going since Disrupt?
Idan: Things have been extremely busy and going well! Shortly after disrupt we shifted our primary focus on getting the gTar into mass production out in China. While we had already been going out there for nearly a year at that point, we spent the next 6 months hammering out every issue imaginable in production and learning about how much goes into making a thousand of something.
Now we’re starting to get units out of China in batches and fulfill them out to our amazingly supportive and patient Kickstarter backers. As a result of the last 6 months the product has really improved as well, with the end result and build quality far exceeding our expectations, since as a result of production we had to make certain changes to the design and architecture of the product, allowing us to make some significant improvements to the technology, along with the direct ability to upgrade the product in the future through iPhone delivered updates as well as hardware upgrades that our customers can install themselves.
TC: Tell us about the gTar before and after Disrupt. What did you think would happen before you got on stage?
Idan: Before Disrupt the gTar was still a relatively secret project being worked on in a closet-sized office in the flatland of Santa Clara. Before that I had originally started building the product in my garage in Cupertino and after that we were bouncing around for a while (even working for a month or so on an Icelandic ferry docked in the SF bay), but once we knew we were going to Disrupt everything sort of got official. Driven by the pressure to get things right, our team pulled together a really professional looking video and presentation in a matter of weeks while gearing up for what we felt was going to be a make it or break it point for the product.
TC: Were you scared? Excited? How does it feel to launch on stage?
Idan: It’s definitely exciting and almost foreboding to get up on the stage, especially considering that you have such a short amount of time and it’s not really possible to leave much to chance. You’re somehow stuffing three years of work into such a short little moment, and hope that people understand implicitly what had to go on under the hood to make all of that happen.
It definitely has this sort of epic feel to it and we were definitely nervous as all hell. We spent every waking moment practicing and rehearsing every word and sentence we were going to say. Also, our dependence on our early stage prototype hardware was always something we were worried about. For example, the night before our presentation, Josh had to run out to get a Dremel tool that he somehow managed to find at the only open hardware store in Manhattan, so that I could make some internal tweaks for us to re-route some wires through the prototype to avoid any potential battery issues or audio problems that might pop up on stage.
That prototype is in a case now, and we’re planning to hang it up as a piece of art. It was very much a super early prototype (and the only fully functional gTar in existence at that point) and we easily had disassembled and reassembled it at least 10-20 times over those few days. In fact, we did it so much that we were ruining the screws holding on the pick guard and by the last day we only had 3 left!
TC: How many did you pre-sell that day?
Idan: We launched the project around 2PM or something and we hit our $100K Kickstarter goal in just over 11 hours so by the end of the day we had pre-sold north of 200 gTars. The project ended up raising over $350k with about 850 people pledging to get a gTar.
TC: Why didn’t you play any really smoking hot-reggae jams on stage? Like “Stir It Up?”
To be honest I think we could have chosen a better set of songs for our demos, but we were also playing it a little safe as well since we wanted to choose a song that I could play well enough knowing that I’d probably freeze up on stage. I think you can probably see my leg shaking if you look carefully enough in the video of the first presentation. We actually got a lot of feedback on that demo, so for the second presentation we did change up the songs around, which definitely was a good move.
TC: What’s next for gTar? Another version?
Idan: We’re still working hard to get a gTar into the hands of everyone that backed us on Kickstarter, and are making solid progress and getting some great positive initial feedback. We’re eagerly awaiting another large shipment that’s on its way and on the ocean as we speak. We’ll be putting some serious effort into an Android dock and app, as well as Web browser based compatibility. We have done some light conceptualizations of how other instruments would work within our platform, but are mainly focused on the gTar for the moment.
We’re working hard to continuously make the gTar a better product, and as a result of some the design changes that went into effect during production, the units we are sending out today will also have the capability to benefit from those improvements as we roll them out. This includes continued improvement to our own app, such as a deeper exploration and development of the social aspects of the product.
A few weeks ago we launched an online store that is already generating pre-orders for the spring, and we’re developing retail distribution channels for the summer and holiday seasons. We’re also looking to expand our team over the next year as well!
TC: If Disrupt were an EBay account, what would you write in the review?
Idan: I would think that the comparison is much more likened to a summer fling. It’s a short, intense, and immensely rewarding experience that ends up surprisingly thrilling for everyone involved. At the end you might not end up being number one, but the experience will change you for the better.